Today, the day of the UK EU referendum is marked by rolling thunder and lightning over London both the evening before, and on the day. Perhaps those are portents of a change coming to the land. Today the population apparently decides if the UK remains inside the EU or leaves to stand alone.
I have cast my vote.
Whatever the outcome of the voting, in mine and the eyes of many others I am certain the UK will be viewed as a different place.
The vitriol which has been whipped up by the media has exposed a simmering undercurrent of dissatisfaction and fear amongst many people, and undermined the moderating effect of rational thought.
I have seen family, acquaintances and strangers alike promoting and stating views which I had formerly believed were consigned to history, which saddens me greatly. Especially where those views are in direct contradiction to values of diversity, tolerance, debate and reason under which I was raised and educated.
For some of those people I have an understanding of their frustration and thinking but what I cannot understand at all is the sheer force of belief that leaving the EU will change things in the way think they want.
The clock will not be wound back to 1960 or some ‘Great Britain’ golden age.
Leaving the EU, our closest continental neighbours, and root-stock of many ‘British’ peoples will, I think, result in the UK becoming a culturally poorer, financially poorer and more polarised society. But hey, stopping people being united is an old and easy trick for conquering them.
If it’s done anything at all, this referendum has exposed just how illiberal, unsophisticated, and unwilling to inform themselves people can be, and how politicians will strive in any way they see fit for a grasp of power.
The greatest irony of all.. a central pillar of the argument has been around immigration; in a country, built from hundreds of years worth of waves of immigration, from the Nordic, to the Saxon, to the Commonwealth, the UK has long been a melting pot of immigrants, and always will be, maybe that’s part of what made it Great?